Teen Homeless Shelter on Laramie by Arturo Arroyo, Jason Guyette and Elias Kranicke

Grade: 10th

We chose to create a homeless shelter for teens, because of how many issues homelessteenagers face. There are a lot of homeless teenagers in high school. Most of them livewith people they don't know, and we'd like them to be able to live with other peopletheir age. From personal experience, being homeless stinks because you're living withadults older than you, and not with people your age. It's hard to communicate yourliving status with friends and family, because some people think badly of you, so we'retrying to make a space that is welcoming without that kind of stigma. The kids mightbe living with other families they are not from, or step families, and sometimes whenthey are in this situation, the teens might not be able to see family they need or wantto see.

In our homeless shelter, we will have different housing bays for each group ofresidents. We made our layout based on the plot of land (1901 N Laramie). We hadstarted within an irregular rectangle, and we decided to build on just less than half ofthe lot to incorporate a nature walk on the other half. All that is here right now is amini forest. If we build on just the south of this site, we can maintain the forest andhelp clean it up, instead of having trash and other things in there. We can help byhaving everyone from our shelter keep it healthy and make a nature walk out of it.

The neighborhood is peaceful: low violence, and low crime rates. And the site is fairlyisolated from its surroundings. Because of this, it is a perfect spot to have a homelessshelter. Additionally, the area does not have a homeless shelter already.

We had no information or knowledge about how to run a homeless shelter and how toarrange it, but we needed to do both these things, so we called 12 different homelessshelters for help. We learned that there are many groups within a homeless center, andwe need a range of housing and staff for each. The people we called said that we couldhave all ages in there, but each age needs different things. We would have manydifferent rooms for each person to stay within while staying at our shelter. Each roomwould hold two people, something else the people we called suggested.